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Lawes: Harp Consorts / Les Voix Humaines


Release Date: 08/26/2008 
Label:  Atma Classique   Catalog #: 2372   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  William Lawes
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Voix Humaines
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

The viola da gamba usually sounds to me like a dying cow, but William Lawes was a very interesting composer, consistently interesting melodically and harmonically. In addition, the less dusky timbre of the harp and the baroque violin makes a very effective foil to the gambas in these invariably inventive pieces. It's an open question just how complete the consorts are as they have come down to us. Some, such as Concerto 7, have one brief movement, while others, such as No. 3, are complete baroque dance suites. Most interesting are the movements in variation form ("divisions") such as we find in Consorts Nos. 8, 9, and 10, where the interplay between harp, violin, and gamba reaches delectable heights of invention.
Read more /> The reason that these pieces have not previously appeared on disc in a complete collection has to do with the amount of reconstruction necessary to present the entire series in its most complete form. Trust me: you won't be able to tell which bits feature some conjectural filling in. The editorial work has been done very sensitively, and the performances are "authentic" but never at the expense of musicality. The players of Les Voix Humaines and harpist Maxine Eilander really "play off" of each other, and they are extremely well recorded. It makes good sense to arrange the consorts in sets according to key (G major, D minor, D major, and G minor), as there seems to be no particular point to their numbering. It truly sounds as if everyone involved is having a very good time, and you will too.

--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

1.
Harpe Consort no 8 in G Major: Pavan & Divisions by William Lawes
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Voix Humaines
Period: Baroque 
Written: 17th Century; England 
2.
Harpe Consort no 7 in G Major : Air by William Lawes
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Voix Humaines
Period: Baroque 
Written: 17th Century; England 
3.
Harpe Consort no 3 in G Major: Allemande, Courante, Courante, Sarabande by William Lawes
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Voix Humaines
Period: Baroque 
Written: 17th Century; England 
4.
Harpe Consort no 11 in D Minor: Fantasie by William Lawes
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Voix Humaines
Period: Baroque 
Written: 17th Century; England 
5.
Harpe Consort no 4 in D Minor: Air, Air, Courante, Sarabande by William Lawes
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Voix Humaines
Period: Baroque 
Written: 17th Century; England 
6.
Harpe Consort no 9 in D Major: Pavan & Divisions by William Lawes
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Voix Humaines
Period: Baroque 
Written: 17th Century; England 
7.
Harpe Consort no 5 in D Major: Allemande, Courante, Courante, Sarabande by William Lawes
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Voix Humaines
Period: Baroque 
Written: 17th Century; England 
8.
Harpe Consort no 6 in D Major: Allemande, Allemande, Courante, Courante, Sarabande by William Lawes
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Voix Humaines
Period: Baroque 
Written: 17th Century; England 
9.
Harpe consort no 10 in G minor by William Lawes
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Voix Humaines
Period: Baroque 
Written: 17th Century; England 
10.
Harpe Consort no 2 in G Minor: Air, Courante, Courante, Sarabande by William Lawes
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Voix Humaines
Period: Baroque 
Written: 17th Century; England 
11.
Harpe Consort no 1 in G minor by William Lawes
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Voix Humaines
12.
Duo for Guitare and Harpe: Allemande, Courante 1, Courante 2 by William Lawes
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Voix Humaines
Period: Baroque 
Written: 17th Century; England 

Featured Sound Samples

Harpe Consort no 3

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